Hello beloved perverts!
This morning I read an article on Quora, and the quote below caught my eye and my heart. The article was about humanity as a whole, and how often those that have a lot treat those that have little less than dignified.
“Charity wrapped in dignity.”
This particular story recounted a woman haggling with an obviously very, very poor street vendor of eggs (there were photos) about the price – $0.50 per egg. She demanded to get six eggs for $2.50, and the man told her that he will happily accept whatever she is willing to pay as he had not sold any eggs at all that day, and any income will be considered a blessing. That same woman went to meet a friend at an exclusive restaurant later on that day, paid well over $400 for the meal, and left a tip of $100 – which was well over the expected amount. The point that was trying to be made is that she haggled with the poor over $0.50, but freely gave to those that already had a lot.
The story teller recalls their own childhood of reasonable, but no means well-to-do means, and how their father would often overpay street vendors, or not accept change for a transaction, and generally give a little more than people, especially extremely poor people, expected for their services and wares. When asked by the story teller why he did so, he replied that he practiced “charity wrapped in dignity”. It allowed the recipients of said charity to keep their dignity rather than feeling as though are getting handouts.
According to one definition at Merriam Webster, dignity is “the quality or state of being worthy of honor and respect“.
Cambridge offer this: “the importance and value that a person has, that makes other people respect them or makes them respect themselves“.
I look back at my life and how I not only received charity (when I was very young and quite poor), but also behaved charitable towards others. I hardly ever accepted any monetary help without insisting to give something in return – time or labor, skill, whatever. Those few times when family members sent $ from overseas to help out, I felt guilty accepting it as I saw it as a ‘hand-out’ with nothing to offer in return, money given out of pity. Shortly after I divorced my first husband, Scott, my income was $800 a month which he gave me without having the legal obligation (i.e. decreed by the divorce court) to do so for just over a year. He felt it justified as he brought me to the US, leaving behind everything to start a new life in a different country. Not having an education acknowledged by the authorities here, my chances of getting a job were equal to one holding a GED. My command of the language was decent, but certainly not at 100%. I accepted his $ without feeling guilty as I agreed with him, and was thankful that he was a good enough man to not just disappear on my ass.
My early jobs were along the lines of dishwasher at restaurant, barmaid at a seedy bar in Killeen, general kitchen worker. I had lots of offers to strip at the local strip joints (of which there where many), but did not take any of those despite not inconsiderable income jump that would have brought with it. The little place I rented was a 600 sq ft house located behind said strip clubs off of a dirt road, across the way from the HUD housing. “Bad part of town” did not begin to cover it, in all honesty. People were being stabbed, mugged and murdered not 100 yards from my little place. I could have applied for welfare, but did not. My German pride would not allow me to live of what I considered to be the hand-outs of others.
I remember the first time Scott came to see where I now lived. He parked his Porsche in the “driveway”, got out, looked around and asked me to get into the car. We went to the local Walmart, and he bought me a .38 special snub-nose revolver, along with several boxes of ammunition. The next few hours were spent on a shooting range, where I learned what I need to know about this new possession of mine. By the time he dropped me off at my place, I had a man-target with quite a few well-placed shots rolled up under my arm. I stapled it to the outside of my front door – I lived there as a single, young, decent looking female for quite some time before my current husband, Drew, joined me there; and altogether three years passed without a single incident.
My point? Scott treated me with dignity after our divorce, which *I* asked for. He did not have to do any of the things he did for me in the year following our split. Yet he made sure that I could get on my feet without my feeling guilty about accepting the help, he got me the means by which to keep myself safe in a very unsafe neighborhood rather than advising me to move elsewhere, he helped in many small little ways for the first year despite my having broken his heart. He even kept helping out financially even AFTER Drew moved in with me, at least until I had a steady minimum wage job. He was charitable towards me, while allowing me to keep my dignity. For that, I am grateful.
Moving a few years forward, after Drew and I advanced to at least livable poor status with two full-time minimum wage jobs, I found myself helping out others that were worse off than us. In small ways, mind you – we did not have extra $ by any means! But I’d invite someone over to help me with something or other, and provide a full meal for them. Or I’d ask someone to make something for me (which they would have done for free and willingly so) and give them what I could afford in exchange. Or I noticed that they needed something (not wanted – needed!), and if I could, I would give it. Even back then I was collecting what Drew called “strays” in human form, tried to help them become better people, learn a skill they can use, or get them out of a bad situation.
As the years have gone by, I have found myself countless times giving to others – not necessarily money, but goods, items, time, labor – you name it. Rarely did anyone ask for help; it was – and still often is – simply a matter of “I have, and you need”. I see a need – not a want! – and if I can, I give. Oftentimes I would ask for a favor, or some help with something that I needed doing, or simply told them that if I were to spend time at their place, this THING had to be there (like a damn bed – I ain’t sleeping on the floor!).
I often tell vendors at events or festival of various kinds to keep the change. I will buy bags of groceries for other people in return for them cooking me a meal, or buy something I don’t want or need so that the seller has income, especially if I know them and am aware of their financial situation. When we were still living in Temple, and we had a local “soup kitchen” that could/would accept food from private sources, I would clean out my pantry every three months and take groceries down there. I would/will do the points things around holidays to get the “free” turkey several times over and donate it to the kitchen, or give it to someone that would otherwise not have one.
Thoughts about …
There are so many ways in which one can be charitable while preserving the receiver’s dignity. I truly believe that people would rather ‘give’ something in return rather than accept hand-outs. Perhaps I am naive in that thinking, it could be. I have first-hand experience that some people are perfectly happy to take as much as you are willing to give without a single thought as to their dignity, but those are also not the kind of people I would feel the urge to help. There are a lot of good people in our community that need a helping hand, but either can’t or won’t ask for help. Good people that are perfectly willing – and probably even prefer – to work and/or provide a service in return for income or goods.
Across from our property is a neighborhood that is primarily comprised of lower income level workers, a lot of trailers, out in the country, a bit of red-neck thrown in. You know the kind I am talking about? Well – there is a neighborhood app that connects all of the local neighborhoods digitally, and there are several people across the street that have posted about being out of work since this pandemic started, and needing help. Some are just asking for hand-outs, but the majority are outright stating that they need help and want to work, they are willing/able to do XYZ in order to have some income and keep their roofs, and if anyone needed anything they could do, please let them know.
“Charity wrapped in dignity” is finding something that they could be doing for me, or on my property, in order to provide them with income.
“Charity wrapped in dignity” is buying toys from our fellow kink vendors online, whether we need them or not.
“Charity wrapped in dignity” is visiting someone that is short on money with a grocery bag full of food to cook them a meal – and make sure that there are more groceries in the bag than are needed for the meal.
“Charity wrapped in dignity” is asking one of your friends/acquaintances with the appropriate skills to fix your XYZ if they are out of work, rather than hiring a big company.
It is supporting each other in ways that allow both parties to walk away feeling good about themselves.
Ask yourself – are we treating those around us with the dignity they deserve? Does how much income someone has have any bearing on whether or not they are deserving of dignity? Is the guy on the street corner, offering to wash your windshield for a quarter while you wait for the light to change, less deserving of his dignity just because he fell on hard times for reasons unknown to us? Are we justified in treating that extremely submissive person with less dignity than we would a well-known Dominant of some repute?
I could go on and on … but would like to leave you with this: being treated with dignity is something every single person has an inherent right to, no matter their income level, their ethnicity, their color, their orientation, their you-name-it. It does not matter whether or not we are talking about personal interactions, relationships, or charitable giving. People that do not treat others with dignity regardless of whom they are … are not my people. If someone has truly lost their personal dignity, help them find it again. Everyone deserves basic respect and understanding, and compassion for others shows strength of character. Use that compassion to help and/or support those that need it with while keeping their dignity intact.
With that, I leave you until next week.